Across the globe educators are being required to respond to a changing political environment. New nations emerge out of the collapse of old empires; new democracies struggle out of old structures of oppression. Driven on by the fierce competitiveness of the 'tiger economies' of the east, old social welfare-based democracies are transformed into new market driven enterprise societies. The essays in this international collection are a response from twenty two educators to these changes and to the reassessment that they provoke of some of the fundamental principles which shape educational thought and practice. They focus in particular on four key clusters of issues to do with the role of education in cultivating: * national identity: what role might nationalistic education play in the context of a democratic liberal education? * market principles: contributors offer different perspectives on the internationally pervasive application of the principles of the market economy to education and the consequent 'commodification' of learning * personal autonomy: educators examine different dimentions of the contested notion of autonomy itself and the related discourses of 'edificat and 'empowerment' * democratic citizenship: it is argued that the oppressive family practices which undermine the development of the personal autonomy necessary to democratic citizenship requires public scrutiny and educational intervention The contributors are distinguished scholars drawn from every continent. They write consciously for an international readership and there is constant cross-referencing to developments in different parts of the world. All are practitioners in education sharing an interest in the philosophical issues underlying social change. The philosophical discussion is clearly rooted in and referred back to the world of educational practice and its political context.
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